Most of you who are friends with me on Facebook are aware that I am raising money for the American Liver Foundation by running the New York Marathon in November. Most of my fundraising efforts and posts regarding this have been through Facebook since it is more of a personal endeavor, but this post is more business oriented so I thought I’d share it here. If you’d wish to donate, you can here:

Mike Smith, my high school football coach, would often say, “You don’t win on Friday night. You win it during the week!” This saying was Coach Smith’s simple way of expressing preparation determines your success, not merely your performance on game day. Similarly, I noticed that once I began wrestling in the spring and summer, I started seeing much more success during the season.

While you won’t find all-league linebacker or undefeated State Champion wrestler anywhere on my resume, an understanding of preparation having an impact on success and accomplishment of goals was something I realized early in my life. Of course, through my education and work experience, I have learned additional ways to increase the efficiency and productiveness of preparation through project management best practices. Not surprisingly, when I began exploring the idea of running my first marathon, I approached it as I would any other major project or goal. This endeavor would be the first time in over 15 years that I would be utilizing preparation for athletic purposes.

Before this even began, I knew I wanted to do something that would raise money for the American Liver Foundation (ALF). I needed to coordinate with them to find out which events had open spots for me on their teams. Additionally, I needed to get the okay from both my family, since training can take up a lot of hours of personal time, and my doctors, since I will be putting my body through some pretty strenuous exercise. In the project management world, this is often referred to as ‘getting stakeholder commitment.’

My next step was to ‘define the scope and goal.’ After I found out the ALF did not have any spots in the Chicago Marathon, I decided to be a part of the New York Marathon team. Signing up for the race gave me my task, 26.2 miles, my location, and my date.

The next step was ‘developing a plan.’ Fortunately, there are a lot of resources online for running your first marathon. I was able to develop a running plan that worked with my schedule and also determine the logistics of traveling to and budgeting for a trip to New York City. Additionally, I needed to develop my strategy for the raising the $3,000 for the American Liver Foundation.

Managing the training and fundraising is much simpler than typical marketing, architecture, or other professional projects that I’ve been a part of in the past since most of the work is to be completed by me. The closest thing to team members has been the fundraising coordinator at ALF, a few doctors, and a physical therapist, who have at times been needed for injuries that have arisen.

The fundraising aspect has been most similar to the PM work that I have done over the last ten years since it has involved social media posts, revenue goals, and some event planning. It mostly involved writing and scheduling posts every week and making sure I am meeting planned fundraising goals. However, since this is the first time I have entirely run a fundraising campaign it has caused some adjustments to my schedule, for example reaching out to LinkedIn contacts for an additional audience.

The running part has been relatively straightforward. It typically involves three nights of running each week and a long run on the weekend. The only difficulties with this have been the occasional injuries that result from an ‘old guy’ without the best knees running over 20 miles each week and complications with work schedule, particularly when traveling either during the week or over the weekend. However, these are typical issues that are pretty comparable to scheduling issues that any project encounters.

The last significant steps of this ‘project’ upon completion of the execution is the project close. The fundraising aspect will be completed by the middle of October when the fundraising deadline is set, and the running portion will be completed on November 4th, the day of the marathon. Once I return home, I plan to make a note of which aspects of the running and the fundraising were successful and which could have been done better. This reflection will be useful either for when I decide to run any future races or should I need to perform any fundraising projects in the future.

Again, thanks for reading, and if you wish to donate you can do so here: